U.S. Soldier Is Shot Dead In Ambush In Pakistan

U.S. Soldier Is Shot Dead In Ambush In Pakistan
May 15th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: U.S. Soldier Is Shot Dead In Ambush In Pakistan

U.S. Soldier Is Shot Dead In Ambush In Pakistan
New York Times
May 15, 2007
Pg. 11

By Carlotta Gall
KABUL, Afghanistan, May 14 — An American soldier was shot dead and four other Americans were wounded in Pakistan on Monday after a meeting of Afghan, Pakistani and NATO officials at the border to try to resolve recent clashes between the neighboring countries, Afghan and NATO officials said.
The soldiers were ambushed by “unknown assailants” near Teri Mangal, on the Pakistani side of the border, after leaving the meeting and heading back toward Afghanistan, a statement from the NATO force in Afghanistan said. Two of the wounded were civilians and two were servicemen, it said. Teri Mangal lies less than two miles from the Afghan-Pakistani border. Afghan officials said the dead and wounded were Americans.
Four Pakistani soldiers who were escorting the Afghan and NATO team were also wounded, and one later died of his wounds, Pakistani officials said. The military spokesman blamed “miscreants,” a term often used for militants in the tribal areas.
“Security forces have cordoned the area, and an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the facts,” said Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad, the Pakistani military spokesman.
A Pakistani official, who asked not to be named because he was not permitted to speak to the news media, said the gunman had been wearing a uniform of the local Kurram tribal militia.
The Afghan Defense Ministry gave a conflicting account, saying that a Pakistani soldier had opened fire on the Americans at the meeting and was then shot and killed by other American soldiers. Two American soldiers were killed and two wounded, and several other Pakistanis and an Afghan soldier were wounded in the firing, the Defense Ministry spokesman, Gen. Zaher Azimi, said in a statement.
Three senior Afghan officials attended the meeting: the governor of Paktia Province; the commander of the First Division of the Afghan Army; and the commander of the local battalion of the border police. The governor, Rahmatullah Rahmat, in comments to The Associated Press, said gunmen opened fire on the group as it was heading to helicopters for the return journey.
Tensions are running high between Pakistan and Afghanistan after several clashes on the border in recent weeks. In a statement, the Afghan Foreign Ministry accused the Pakistani Army of an invasion, saying it entered the Zazai District in Paktia Province on Saturday and destroyed houses and public buildings.
Pakistani gunfire in the clash on Saturday killed 13 people and wounded 28, with police officers and civilians among the casualties, said the Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman, Sultan Ahmed Baheen.
The Foreign Ministry said it would summon the Pakistani ambassador on Monday to protest.
It also sent a formal letter of protest to Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general.
The Afghan Defense Ministry said Pakistani forces moved in Saturday morning and tried to occupy positions one to two miles inside Afghan territory. When they were stopped by the border police, they opened fire with artillery, General Azimi said Sunday at a news conference.
The Pakistani spokesman, General Arshad, denied any aggressive action. “Our position is very clear — there is no question of entering into Afghan territory, and there was no such attempt made,” he said, according to Agence France-Presse.
Pakistan has begun building a fence along parts of the frontier between the countries, saying it wants to stem the flow of militants crossing into Afghanistan. But Afghanistan is opposed to the idea, saying that it will divide families and tribes that live along the border and that it will not tackle the insurgency at its source, the camps where militants are being recruited and trained inside Pakistan.
Afghanistan has never recognized the border, which was drawn by British officials more than 100 years ago during the imperial era. On April 19, Afghan soldiers tore down the first part of the fence and then engaged in a firefight with Pakistani troops.
Meanwhile, the body of the top Taliban commander, Mullah Dadullah, who was killed in southern Afghanistan over the weekend, was buried with proper Muslim rites in Kandahar, the provincial governor, Asadullah Khaled, said Monday.
The place of burial was being kept secret for security reasons, he said, adding that if the family of Mullah Dadullah approached the government, officials would hand over his body.

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